Exposure to electromagnetic field emanating from telecoms infrastructure do not pose health risk to humans, the industry watchdog has said to allay fears of Nigerians.
Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman at Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says that the electromagnetic filed coming out of telecoms base stations are not enough to pose any health risks.
The telecoms chief made this known at a sitting of the House Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee investigating the health implications of mounting telecommunications masts close to building, yesterday in Abuja.
Danbatta said researches so far conducted in the area have not indicated any adverse health concerns. “With regards to other professional bodies like Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) we don’t have any quarrel with their positions”, he says while responding to concerns about health implications to exposure to electromagnetic field,
“The only question is when we say exposure to electromagnetic field is hazardous to health what level are we talking about? We have to define the level of exposure that is hazardous to human beings. Of course if you generate a massive electromagnetic field of unprecedented proportion and put a person inside, there will be medical consequences.
According to the NCC boss, “But what we are saying is that: provided the limit specified is observed and NCC is there to ensure compliance with that limit, there is no health hazard. There is a limit of safety below which electromagnetic fields do not cause any harm to health.”
He also said that Nigeria needs about eighty thousand telecommunication base stations to usher us into smart applications and Internet of Things (IoT ) era.
Speaking to members of the Committee, he said Nigeria has less than 50,000 base stations which is not enough to actualize her dream of joining the club of countries working toward making IoT a reality by leveraging 4G and 5g networks. “3G, 4G going to 5G networks are going to usher this country into smart applications, the Internet of Things or the smart world and cities we are talking about”
“And of course because of the additional burden on infrastructure, the present capacity of telecom infrastructure is grossly inadequate to cater for these additional platforms or services we talk about. Therefore we will need from 70,000 to 80,000 base transceiver masts to be able to provide the effective capacity that’s needed to deploy 4G going to 5G”, he adds.
Noting that the United Kingdom (UK), with a population of almost one third of Nigeria already has close to 60,000 masts, he called on other approving agencies at all levels of government in the country to synergize with NCC with a view to achieving the target.